America’s heroes often suffer from dry eye symptoms – Do you?

(BPT) – First responders often work in conditions that can take a toll on their eyes. Exposure to heat, smoke, wind and dust may cause Dry Eye symptoms, such as irritated and painful eyes, according to All About Vision. This is part of the day-to-day environmental challenges they must endure in order to do their job – saving lives. In fact, being in an environment with conditions that are severely dry, dusty and windy may result in development of Dry Eye.

“Dry eye syndrome affects approximately 5 million Americans. More specifically, I see first responders in my practice who complain of eye dryness, burning and irritation brought on by dust and smoke which are inherent to their work,” says Marguerite McDonald, MD, FACS, board-certified ophthalmologist, Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island.

Dry eye is one of the most common reasons why patients visit their eye doctor. At its most basic, dry eye is a reduction in your eyes’ ability to produce or maintain sufficient quantity and quality of natural tears.Insufficient tears can lead to:

* Damage to the eye surface

* Increased risk of eye infection

* Effects on vision

On the other hand, excessive tearing is also a symptom of dry eye because when your eyes become overly dry, they can overstimulate tear production as a protective mechanism. This is why it is vital to visit a doctor, because only a doctor can determine if you have dry eye.

“I often recommend REFRESH OPTIVE(R) Advanced Preservative-Free to my patients because it contains key ingredients that help relieve dry, burning and irritated eyes due to dry eye, and this tear is preservative-free, which is soothing to the eyes,” says McDonald.

Bringing eye drops to first responders in need

In an effort to help ease the Dry Eye symptoms that affect our nation’s best, Allergan is announcing the REFRESH AMERICA campaign. Every purchase of specially-marked package in the REFRESH OPTIVE(R) product line between Aug. 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016 will lead to donations of REFRESH(R) eye drops to select first responder groups nationwide. Allergan guarantees a minimum product donation with an approximate retail value of $250,000, regardless of the number of eligible products sold during the campaign period.

“I am thrilled that we are able to partner with Allergan for REFRESH AMERICA,” says Traycee Biancamano, CEO, U.S. First Responders Association. “As a first responder, I know first-hand the dedication first responders put into their jobs each and every day, as well as the risks they face. Allergan’s generous contribution is a great way to give back and take care of those who are saving lives.”

Learn more at



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